The Painful Road To A White Australia

Rate this post

The history of the colonial conquests of the 17th century is frequently overlooked and glamorized. While it is true that many of those settling in the colonies were fleeing religious persecution themselves, the profound impact these relocations had on the native populations of the colonies should not be dismissed.

The settlers’ religious freedom came at the expense of the near destruction of the Indigenous people in the so-called “New World.” Entire civilizations were devastated by war, disease, and famine caused by the arrival of the colonizers.

Although most of these expeditions sponsored by Western European countries were in the name of exploration, they quickly took a turn for the worse. What was meant to be a shortcut to Asia to avoid the Silk Road and continue the spice trade turned into one of the biggest atrocities committed by humans to this day.

The bloody history of colonization

As we all know by now, the Americas were the first continents to be “discovered” by Christopher Columbus, an explorer in search of a passage to Asia. What he came upon, though, was an opportunity like no other.

The claim that Columbus was the first-ever outsider to contact the Native American tribes has been frequently debated. Some sources claim that several centuries before his arrival, the ancient Vikings sailed to Newfoundland’s coast.

Settlements were found to provide evidence for the Vikings residing in that area for at least a decade. Plenty of historical writings also attest to this expedition to what the Vikings termed “Wine Land” on account of the grapes they encountered there, which could not be found in their native Greenland. Click on this link to find out more:

Nevertheless, unlike Columbus, they never settled long-term, and instead of pillaging the resources of the Native Americans, they established a trading route. You might wonder why an infamously brutal tribe like the Vikings would back away from potentially wealthy land. Still, they had very few people at the time of the expedition and not enough resources to engage in conquering.

Unfortunately, by the time Columbus arrived in the Americas, the Europeans surpassed the Native Americans in technological advancements and could easily overpower them with their guns. From then on, a bloody path was set in motion that would leave a dark mark on human history.

While the Europeans became rich with new crops such as potatoes, tomatoes, and pumpkins, during the so-called “Columbian Exchange,” the Indigenous tribes received deadly diseases such as influenza, smallpox, and syphilis. These were afflictions for which their bodies were not prepared, and it reduced their population to drastically low numbers.

Sadly, this is the same scenario that was repeated upon the colonization of Australia. While there were several centuries between them, the Americas and Australia’s conquest have a lot in common. For more info go here. You will be surprised to learn everything that happened.

An exploration turned nightmare

Although the “discovery” of Australia was a product of an exploratory expedition just like the Americas, at first, there were no plans to colonize the island. The first governor assigned to the island was specifically ordered to establish good relations and friendly rapport with Australia’s native population.

Initially, this strategy worked. The Aboriginal people, described by early historians as good-natured and good-humored, were curious about the newcomers and eager to learn more about them. One of them, named Bennelong, even sailed to Europe as the Aborigines ambassador and even met with King George III!

That all changed after Britain lost its control over the colonies in the Americas with the United States’ declaration of independence. They were deprived of territory and fertile ground to supply their crop resources with as well as a place to imprison criminals from Britain.

Namely, English criminal law relied heavily on penal transportation, which punished criminals by sending them to prison in the colonies, away from their home and family. Allegedly, this approach was very efficient in preventing crime. Many people were terrified by the thought of being forced to live on another continent that could have seemed like a whole other planet.

Soon enough, the original plans for peaceful cohabitation with the Aboriginals were scrapped, and the British saw the land they could use as a substitute for America. They began transporting prisoners and establishing other colonies and chasing away the Indigenous people to the island’s outskirts.

Devastation beyond measure

An increased number of colonizers also brought with them the same diseases that had devastated the Native Americans, with the same result in the Aboriginal people. Smallpox alone was responsible for killing off 60 percent of the Aboriginal population.

Unfortunately, the plight of Indigenous Australians did not end there. Focused on creating a white Australia in Britain’s image, the settlers forced the Aborigines to assimilate to a society with Western values and traditions. They formed calculated strategies meant to eradicate Aboriginal culture and their art, music, and history.

In one of the darkest parts of Australian history, the government even resorted to stealing kids of mixed parentage, both Indigenous and white, to model them as the ideal white citizen. Unlike them, “full-blooded” Aborigines were left to die out because of the supposed inferiority of their skin color.

This resulted in the near-extinction of the Aboriginal identity. Out of the 250 languages spoken across the continent by 250 different nations, almost 200 are entirely gone now. Even more tragic is the loss of their history, which used to be transmitted orally from generation to generation. Currently, there is no one to provide testimonials of the horrors the Indigenous people of Australia went through.

Innumerable amounts of people have suffered and are still feeling the effects of the Commonwealth and the Australian government’s incredibly racist politics. Generations of Aborigines have been denied the opportunity to know their roots and their culture, all for the sake of greed. We must never forget the victims of this policy, and we should fight every day for justice for them.